With 50 million suffering from dementia globally, experts expect the number to triple by 2050. But they have also outlined ways we can prevent dementia.
“In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are also nearly 10 million new cases of dementia each year. Dementia results from a number of diseases that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer disease or stroke. It affects the memory, learning capacity, comprehension, judgement and generally your brain function.
On Tuesday, the WHO issued a nearly 100-page guideline on how to reduce risk of cognitive decline. According to the guideline, dementia can be prevented with a healthier lifestyle. People should get regular exercises, stop smoking and avoiding the harmful use of alcohol. In addition, they should control their weight, eat a healthy diet, and maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level.
“We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia. The scientific evidence gathered for these guidelines confirms what we have suspected for some time. What is good for our heart, is also good for our brain,” Ghebreyesus explained.
However, you need to be certain you stay clear of certain vitamins that can be detrimental to your health.
“Taking pills for vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids and multi-complex supplements is not recommended to reduce your risk,” the WHO said.
One thing that’s certain is that this cognitive decline is not an inevitable part of ageing, but a preventable disease.
“While age is the strongest known risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of ageing,” the report states. “Prevention of dementia is possible through a public health approach.”